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Statutory health insurance in Germany

In Germany, health insurance is mandatory. Everybody who has their permanent residence in Germany needs an insurance. This also applies to people with a different nationality.

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Health insurance in Germany is a dual system. About 90 percent of the population are members of the statutory health insurance. Under certain circumstances, private health insurance is also possible.

There are more than 100 providers of statutory health insurance in Germany. They differ in their services and contributions. In addition, some are open throughout Germany and others only in certain parts.

Services of statutory health insurance

Around 95 percent of the services are required by law and therefore the same for every health insurance company. These are services that primarily serve the prevention, early detection and treatment of diseases. In other words, all critical treatments are covered through those services.

Therefore, you cannot go wrong in choosing your health insurance provider. They only differ by the few additional benefits that go beyond those regular services. For example, there are insurers who pay for homeopathic and osteopathic treatments, or a grant for professional tooth cleaning or travel vaccinations, and others who do not.

Contributions of statutory health insurance

In the system of statutory health insurance, your contributions are dependent on how much you earn. You have to pay a certain percentage of your income to your insurance provider.  

In addition, the health insurance providers demand different percentages. Depending on which health insurance company you are insured with, you have to pay between 7.3 and 8.15 percent of your income to the insurance. Usually, your contributions will automatically be deducted from your salary.

At the same time, this only applies to employees. For self-employed there are special regulations.

Example:

You are an employee with a gross annual income of 40,000 euros. With a cheap health insurance, you pay 2,920 euros in contributions per year (7.3 % of 40,000). With an expensive one, you pay 3,260 euros (8.15 % of 40,000).

Thus, with a change from an expensive to a cheap health insurance, you can save 340 euros per year.

Statutory health insurance for employees and self-employed

If you come to Germany as an employee, you usually have to become a member of statutory health insurance. Only if your gross annual earnings exceed a certain amount, you have a choice between statutory and private health insurance. In 2018, the amount is 62.550 euros. This applies both to people with foreign citizenship and Germans.

If you take up a self-employment in Germany, the starting point is different. In this case, the insurance you can get depends on how you were insured in your home country. If you were privately insured there, you have to take out private health insurance in Germany, no matter how much you earn. But if you were a member of a statutory health insurance system in your home country, the statutory health insurance is also available in Germany.

Insurance for a temporary stay in Germany

Citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland who only stay in Germany temporarily usually do not have to take out an insurance in Germany. They are covered by their home country. This for example applies to exchange students or workers who have been sent to Germany.

If they are a member of a statutory health insurance in their home country, the German health insurance companies will pay for medically necessary treatments. In order to receive benefits, a European Health Insurance Card is needed.

Multilingual customer service at CHECK24

Are you immigrating to Germany but you do not have any health insurance yet? At CHECK24, you can compare many health insurance companies and find the best provider. If you have any questions regarding statutory health insurance, our customer consultants will be happy to help. They not only speak German but also English and Polish – contact us by e-mail or telephone (+49 89 - 24 24 12 74).

Our service is free of charge and non-binding.